Families will be billed for funeral webcasts from next year – unless Covid restrictions return


Rochdale families who want their loved ones’ funerals to be webcast will have to pay for the service starting next year.

Mourners were able to pay their respects online during the Covid pandemic and were not charged.

But with restrictions on the number of funerals now lifted, the council plans to introduce a £ 30 fee from April 2022.

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A council report reads: “It is not a requirement for mourners to webcast the service, but an option.

“During the pandemic, about two-thirds of services opted for webcasting, but this may now reduce restrictions on numbers that have been lifted.”

The proposal is expected to generate £ 10,000 per year for the authority.

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But at a recent cabinet meeting, Councilor Danny Meredith expressed concern that restrictions could be imposed again after the webcasting charge was introduced.

Managing Director Steve Rumbelow, such a scenario would be a case where council policies are superseded by a government decision.

He said: “If that were to happen, it would probably be – it has been in the past – that it would be dictated by national regulations,” he said.

“If there are lock-in-type provisions in place to restrict the number, that will override our policy. “

Steve Rumbelow, Chief Executive Officer of Rochdale Council

Councilor John Blundell then asked if the authority could cancel the charge in a new foreclosure scenario.

“The law won’t necessarily say that you have to provide free funeral webcasts,” he said.

“So if not, can we just delete that, on purpose?” “

Mr Rumbelow replied that the council would have to make a political decision on the matter if the situation arose.

Rochdale council is proposing to increase all of its fees and charges by 2% from April of next year – with a few exceptions, including parking, taxi licenses and garage sales.

This general increase – and the proposed exceptions – were approved for consultation by cabinet members.

Senior advisers also approved the introduction of a new funeral services webcasting fee, which will come into effect at the start of fiscal year 2022/23.

Rochdale’s council cabinet met at Number One Riverside on November 23.

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